Do you deserve to be crucified for your sin?

vader cross cropped flat

This past week, Brian Zahnd and Michael Brown held a debate on the penal substitution atonement theory. While I tend to be on Brian's side of the debate, I'm not willing to throw penal substitution completely out of the window. The concept of penal substitution has a whole lot of slippage within it. There's a stark difference between saying that the cross was in one aspect a punishment that Jesus suffered for the sake of humanity's salvation and saying that Jesus suffered the punishment that e … [Read more...]

An enemy is someone whose story you haven’t heard

children-of-gaza

A couple of weeks ago, Brian Zahnd preached a sermon on the healing of Naaman the Syrian commander by the Israelite prophet Elisha. He pointed out that Naaman was the head of an army that had been at war with the Israelites for years, so the analogy today would be if an Israelite prophet had healed the commander of Hamas. Zahnd made a profound statement as part of his sermon that I've been contemplating over the past couple of weeks: "An enemy is someone whose story you haven't heard." Jesus … [Read more...]

The holiness of belonging to *this* world (with @BrianZahnd)

In Brian Zahnd's May 26th sermon "New Creation (Not Evacuation)," he confronts the neo-Gnosticism of the evangelicals who think we can trash the Earth because God's just going to blow it up anyway, taking on in particular the key prooftext of the rapture fan club, 1 Thessalonians 4:17. Zahnd uses the analogy of going to the airport to receive a relative who's been away on a long trip, like a military deployment. People who read rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 are like someone who goes to the … [Read more...]

Brian Zahnd on Cruciform Evangelism in Colossians 1:24

I was listening to Brian Zahnd's podcast Tuesday while waiting for the rest of my mission team in the Santiago airport. In his May 19th sermon "Mystery Revealed," he preaches on the cosmic reconciliation of all creation in Christ described in Colossians 1. Brian cautions Christians not to take a triumphalist, hegemonic attitude about the cosmic reign of Christ as through its purpose is to serve as our self-affirmation. He says, ""The way of conquest and domination is the way of the old gods that … [Read more...]

Danceable Homiletics #1: Ring Them Bells (featuring Brian Zahnd)

My friend Bram gave me an epiphany today. I asked him what I should do to a trance track I made last night since he's from Europe and they actually listen to trance over there. He said why don't you overlay it with vocals from a Pentecostal preacher's sermon. And that was how the new genre of danceable homiletics was born. We'll see if it goes anywhere. Let me know if you have any favorite sermons you'd like me to trance-late into danceable form. Track #1 was created from an awesome sermon by … [Read more...]

Looking Back on 2012: Jan-Feb

I figured I would end 2012 by reviewing a selection of my posts from throughout the year chronologically, starting with 10 posts from January and February, which I have listed below with a brief description for each of them. These don't necessarily have any ranking to them; they are just the ten that first jumped out at me for being either popular or important. … [Read more...]

Why should the wicked fear God's mercy?

Psalm 52:3 blew my mind yesterday as I was reading it in the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament: "Why do you boast of evil, O mighty man? God's mercy lasts for all time." Since this is my own translation, here's the Hebrew: מה-תתהלל ברעה הגבור חסד אל כל-היום. Why in the world is God's mercy (חסד) presented as a reason to rebuke the mighty man's boasting? I've shared before that hesed, the Hebrew word for mercy, has a different semantic range and connotation than our word in English. It means most es … [Read more...]

Why you need to listen to Brian Zahnd

I'm about to leave on a youth retreat so I don't have time for a full post on this, but Brian Zahnd's Friday night and Sunday sermons from last weekend blew my mind. He is the pastor of non-denominational Word of Life Church in St. Joseph, MO and a leader in the exciting movement among evangelical churches to embrace the sacramental and spiritual practices of the ancient church. In his Friday sermon "Ring them bells," he talks about the way that church bells used to serve as the city's call to … [Read more...]

Beauty will save the world #3: the axis of love

It continues to blow my mind how timely Brian Zahnd's book Beauty Will Save the World is for the climate of our country right now. I previously blogged about the first and second chapters. The third chapter is called "Axis of Love." Kind of sounds like a Jimi Hendrix album. It's actually a very beautiful presentation of the victory Jesus wins on the cross. … [Read more...]

Letter of a Christian martyr — Father Christian de Cherge

With all the buzz about Christians being persecuted in the world (real and imagined), I thought I would share a letter from a Catholic monk who was beheaded by a Muslim radical in Algeria on May 24, 1996. Brian Zahnd printed it as part of his new book Beauty Will Save the World (which is amazing! You should buy it!). It expresses a level of maturity that exudes Christ far more beautifully than any of the loudmouths in the Christian blogosphere ever have (myself included). Here it is. … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X